How to Read a French Fry
And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science
By Russ Parsons
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Paperback, 9780618379439, 320pp.)
Publication Date: September 2003
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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In a book widely hailed for its entertaining prose and provocative research, the award-winning Los Angeles Times food journalist Russ Parsons examines the science behind ordinary cooking processes. Along the way he dispenses hundreds of tips and the reasons behind them, from why you should always begin cooking beans in cold water, to why you should salt meat before sautéing it, to why it's a waste of time to cook a Vidalia onion. Filled with sharp-witted observations ("Frying has become synonymous with minimum-wage labor, yet hardly anyone will try it at home"), intriguing food trivia (fruit deprived of water just before harvest has superior flavor to fruit that is irrigated up to the last moment ), and recipes (from Oven-Steamed Salmon with Cucumber Salad to Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake), How to Read a French Fry contains all the ingredients you need to become a better cook.
RUSS PARSONS is the food and wine columnist of the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of the best-selling How to Read a French Fry, a winner of multiple James Beard Awards for his journalism, and the recipient of the IACP/Bert Greene Award for distinguished writing. He lives in California, which produces more than half of the fruits and vegetables grown in this country. He has been writing about food and agriculture for more than twenty years.
In How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science, Russ Parsons answers all sorts of food science questions, including why meat browns, why sauces emulsify and how frying is different from roasting. More at NPR.org
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Parsons explains the science behind kitchen common sense, then illustrates it with recipes . . . the recipes are some of the most appealing ever." - Deborah Madison
"Russ Parson’s new book is fascinating to read and totally useful in the kitchen." Jeffrey Steingarten
" If you want to know why onions make you cry, are terrified by hollandaise or curious to find out why good cooks add old oil to new, this is the book for you.
The recipes not only tell you the what, but also the why. I learned a lot." Ruth Reichl, editor in chief Gourmet magazine Gourmet